Height Adjustable Desks


Height adjustable desks or sit-stand desks can be manually or electronically adjusted to sitting or standing positions, they are designed to enable the user to sit and stand in order to prevent problems associated with sitting for prolonged periods of time. Sitting for long periods every day burns very few calories and studies have linked this to weight gain and obesity. This can lead to an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease with the ‘Sitting is the new smoking’ claim appearing in many recent publications and articles. Although height adjustable desks alone cannot tackle or alleviate these problems it is better for people to have the option to sit or stand as this option encourages movement, which helps and improves blood circulation, alertness, concentration, and productivity. It can also be said if we stand more at work we potentially prevent muscular aches and other back problems which are associated with being static throughout the day. 


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Welcome to ‘Standinavia’.

Did you know that in Sweden, Norway, and Finland, over 80% of office workers use sit-stand desks, and in Denmark height, adjustable or sit-stand desks are now mandatory? This is due to legislation that was passed, giving guidance to employers that office workers should have the right to reduce sitting time whilst at work.

It seems we here in the UK we are lagging behind in these healthy practices? Why is this? Well according to Jeremy Myerson, professor of design at the Royal College of Art, it’s a matter of perspective: ‘There’s a tendency to treat workplace design as a cost, not an investment’. (Kinnarps)

Health risks such as heart disease, diabetes, and back pain can be caused by a sedentary lifestyle, so we should now be looking at sit stand desks as an investment as opposed to a cost? Surely if workers in the UK, like in Sweden, had access to a height adjustable desks, we would see a healthier more productive workforce? That surely is the best investment any company could make?

Get Britain Standing

Inspired by a visit to Gothenburg, Sweden in 2013 and the healthy working practices the Scandinavians employ Gavin Bradley decided that other countries needed simple (but stern) communication from the fast emerging area of sedentary science. 

In short, we have dropped the ball and need to become more acutely aware of just how dangerous and widespread the health risks of prolonged sitting can be – irrespective of the levels of physical activity.

This is why the campaign ‘Get Britain Standing’ was born. Their goal is to draw attention to the significant increase in health risks caused by sitting and compelling benefits of converting sitting time to standing time whilst at work (wellbeing, productivity, and positive attitude).

We have seen many government campaigns on tackling obesity and sugary foods but have not tackled our often sedentary work habits head-on. Today ‘sitting time’ is rarely mentioned in the media so the Get Britain Standing campaign is definitely worth getting behind, and standing up for!

The Get Britain Standing campaign would indicate that there is a general shift in opinion towards sit-stand workstations, as they are no longer being regarded as a passing trend or fad as the benefits are clearly proven and

The Benefits of Height Adjustable Desks

There are many benefits of having the ability to sit or stand at your workstation either in the office or at home. It must also be noted that prolonged standing all day is not recommended either, as it can result in leg cramps, and excess pressure on joints, which can all affect job performance and cause significant discomfort. The Kinesiology department at the University of Waterloo, Canada recommend standing for 15 minutes within an hour. But further research has shown that people should be standing for at least 30 minutes per hour to get the health benefits 

The following benefits have been supported by science research facilities.

1. Standing lowers your risk of weight gain and obesity.

Exercise is the most effective way effective way to burn calories quickly and simply choosing to stand instead of sitting can also be beneficial. When compared to an afternoon of sedentary work, an equal amount of time spent standing has been shown to burn over 170 additional calories which are almost 1000 extra calories a week.

2. Standing may lower your risk of heart disease

The notion that standing is better for heart health was first proposed in 1953. A study found that bus conductors who stood all day had half the risk of heart disease-related deaths as the bus drivers. Since these findings, scientists have developed and studied the negative effects of sitting has on heart health, with prolonged sedentary time thought to increase the risk of heart disease by up to 147%

3. Standing can reduce or alleviate back pain

Lower back pain is common and can be extremely painful and is one of the most common complaints of office workers who sit all day. To determine if standing desks could improve this, studies have been done on employees with long-term back pain

Participants reported up to a 32% improvement in lower back pain after several weeks of using standing desks. An additional study by the CDC found that a use of a sit-stand desk reduced upper back and neck pain by 54% after just 4 weeks

4. Standing can help improve mood and energy levels

Standing desks, it would appear, have a positive influence on overall wellbeing. Sitting for long periods of time has had direct links to mental health, depression, and anxiety. A recent study has shown that participants using a stand-up desk generally have more energy and are in a better mood.

5. Standing desks improve productivity

When sit-stand desks were first introduced to the market, there was a concern that stand up desks would hinder normal office tasks such as typing. But a study showed that during a 4 hour period using a standing desk, no typing errors or words per minute had been affected by standing. 

Here at Office Reality, we have seen sales of height adjustable desks increase steadily over the past year as we have always promoted the benefits of standing at work.  We offer a few different versions and variations of height adjustable desks such as manual, which adjust s the height of the worktop with a crank handle or an electric version which simply adjusts your desk height at the touch of a button. 

The manual or crank handle desk will allow you to stand or sit without having to spend too much on an electrical version, which is of course due to the components going to be more expensive. However, with the demand, and technological improvements electrical height adjustable desks are becoming less costly to manufacture than a few years ago. 

The Humanscale Float Desk is unique in comparison to other mechanisms as it operates on a non-electrical counter balance system. With a gentle lift of the paddle, underneath the desktop, the desktop raises or lowers with ease. 

We also offer alternative products such as desk risers and if on a tight budget we can supply height adjustable frame only, leaving you to source your own desktop or even reuse your existing one?  

For more information about sit-stand workstations or practices, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your requirements on 01823 663880


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